The trial of Ilorin-based legal practitioner, Akeem Jimoh who is accused of serially defrauding people of their lands commenced on Monday, July 15, 2019 before Justice Mahmood Abdulgafar of Kwara State High Court, sitting in Ilorin with the prosecution calling two witnesses that included Babatunde Shittu, a key prosecution witness and EFCC operative.
Shittu told the court that the EFCC received a petition from one Mr Chukwudi sometime in March 2019, alleging that the defendant defrauded him of about NI.600million (One Hundred and Six Million Naira) landed property.
According to him, Jimoh received a power of attorney from the landlord to sell his land, and that aside selling the land to various persons, he did not remit the money to the owner.
"The defendant stopped picking the complainant's calls after this incident. Upon his arrest, his family and friends put pressure on the complainant and he withdrew his petition," Shittu said.
While being led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Sessan Ola, the witness further disclosed that "The Commission received a transferred case file from Ibadan Zonal Office the EFCC where one Alhaji Saka Kareem claimed that he gave power of attorney to the defendant to sell 20 out of 35 plots of his land, situated at Tanke in Ilorin. He sold the whole 35 and diverted the money to his own personal use. Upon his family intervention, the second petitioner also withdrew his petition that he was no longer interested in the case."
Another petition against the lawyer came from one Ogunleye Dare Benjamin, who claimed that he bought a plot of land from Jimoh in 2011, and by the time he went there in 2018, he discovered that the land had been fenced. Upon visiting the site with the lawyer, he (Barrister Jimoh) denied having knowledge of the person who erected the fence.
Shittu, a Principal Detective Superintendent of the EFCC said "My Lord, our investigations reveal that one Titiayo George bought the land in 2006. We invited her and she explained to us that she bought the land from one Ojigiri Samuel who bought the land from the defendant."
Prosecuting counsel sought to tender the confessional statements of the defendants to the EFCC during interrogation to which the lead defence counsel V.O Aluko objected saying his client made the statement under duress, harassment and intimidation.
Justice Abdulgafar adjourned the case to Tuesday, July 16, 2019 for trial within trial.
Media & Publicity
July 15, 2019